Press Release – Increasing the Odds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2018
Moncton, NB – The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick, (CPNB) released a discussion
paper that details the current and growing crisis in New Brunswick schools. Currently in New
Brunswick children who have been identified as having potential mental health and/or learning
disabilities are not being assessed and diagnosed in a timely manner. In fact, the average wait
time for assessment and diagnosis could be as long as three years. This is far too long for
children who are in need of intervention and waiting could result in more complex issues.
“Children with undiagnosed learning disabilities are at an increased risk for a multitude of
problems including dropping out of school, illiteracy, unemployment, addiction, legal issues and
possible mental health issues”, said Angela Burbridge, Ph.D. and Licensed Psychologist.
The recruitment and retention of psychologists is the root cause for this delay in assessing and
diagnosing children. Working conditions and pay equity issues have led to a number of vacant
positions for psychologists in the New Brunswick public sector.
The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick believes one solution to this challenge is to
strengthen the Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) approach currently being implemented
throughout New Brunswick. CPNB is proposing a temporary measure to help reduce the backlog
in schools, while allowing the Government of New Brunswick time to address recruitment and
retention challenges. This solution involves hiring private psychologists to assess and diagnose
children to help them thrive and succeed in the classroom.
“We believe increasing access and decreasing wait times for assessment are important steps in
achieving the ISD vision. CPNB is committed to reducing gaps in the delivery of psychological
services for children, youth and their families across New Brunswick”, said Angela Burbridge.
CPNB has identified a multi-step solution to this challenge that would put children first, and is
recommending:
1. A short-term measure that includes a “hybrid model” using private psychologists to
address the current lack of resources in the system;
2. Working closely with stakeholders on an ongoing basis to improve retention of
psychologists working in the public system; and
3. Establishing additional internships accredited by the Canadian Psychological Association.
The College of Psychologists of New Brunswick wants to ensure that every child in New
Brunswick has an opportunity to succeed in life and believes that addressing learning
opportunities early is the best way to ensure that the next generation of children can reach their
full potential.
The discussion paper can be accessed by visiting cpnb.ca/links/
Media Contact
Tracey Stephenson
506.850.8077

One Response to Press Release – Increasing the Odds

  1. kat82mck November 23, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    I totally agree with the above article and would emphasize as well that Psychologists in the Public Sector for Adult Services i.e. Mental Health Centres and Hospitals are also in critical need as there are and have been for some time, numerous vacancies. I actually wrote to CPNB a few years ago stating my concerns about the shortage of Psychologists and the trend towards losing Psychology services in the Public Sector. Money is certainly an issue but respect for our profession and lack of autonomy are also critical factors that need to be addressed with management. The loss of having a Psychology Department Head who represented our interests, provided a voice at management meetings and continuously educated directors in regards to our unique abilities and professional contributions within the Public Sector was a major loss. It is unfortunate to see the trend toward “generic” services which tend to be watered down and ineffective for serious mental health disorders.
    Kathleen McKim-Dawes L. Psych.